E-communication to become mandatory in October
From 18th October 2018 public procurement exercises will require e-communication between buyers and suppliers unless there are specific circumstances that make it impractical.
This has been mandatory for central purchasing organisations since 18th April 2018 and will now be rolled out to all purchasing authorities in the public sector to allow for a secure and auditable online system.
Why has this been implemented?
The rationale for the change is that e-communications are commonly agreed to help streamline and strengthen the procurement process for both buyers and suppliers.
The new rules are intended to improve transparency and auditability, make public contracts more accessible to suppliers, promote cross-border tendering, and reduce administrative costs.
What does this mean for me?
This will mark the official end of hard copy submissions and buying organisations will need to ensure they have access to a platform that allows e-communication, such as a secure electronic postbox. Buyers should be that aware email communication does not count as e-communication.
This allows compliance with the regulations by communicating with suppliers securely while ensuring there is a centralised and comprehensive audit trail of all interactions.